Can Dogs Eat Goldfish?

dog eating

Goldfish crackers are a classic snack that’s been around for generations. Kids and adults alike love them for their salty, cheesy taste and their satisfying crunch. But can dogs have Goldfish crackers? 

The next time your dog begs for one of your Goldfish crackers, take a moment to think about the impact it could have on your pet’s health. Here is some more helpful information about whether your dog should share this snack with you. 

Are Goldfish Bad for Dogs?

As a conscientious dog owner who also enjoys a tasty snack from time to time, you might be asking yourself, “Can dogs eat Goldfish?” The short answer is yes; dogs can generally safely have one or two of these cheesy crackers without the threat of illness. However, the more detailed answer goes much deeper than that.

Goldfish are a highly processed food made with a long list of ingredients, including wheat, cheese, salt, artificial coloring, and artificial flavors, as well as preservatives to give them an extended shelf life. Most doctors wouldn’t recommend eating this type of snack on a daily basis, and the same goes for dogs. 

Though these ingredients may not be toxic to humans or dogs, they can contribute to certain health issues in the long term. This could include anything from weight gain to heart problems or hypertension due to excess salt intake. 

Eating this type of snack on a regular basis could cause negative health impacts for your dog over a period of months or years, even if it may not significantly hurt them in the short term.

Can Goldfish Crackers Kill Dogs?

Some human foods, such as chocolate or raisins, are so toxic to dogs that they can be fatal if eaten in a large enough amount. Luckily, Goldfish crackers are not considered toxic to dogs in this way. 

Are Goldfish safe for dogs? They may not be particularly healthy for your dog to consume, but your dog will most likely not experience any symptoms in the moment after eating a few Goldfish crackers. From this angle, Goldfish can be considered safe for your dog, though they’re not recommended. 

snack gold fish

How Often Can My Dog Eat Goldfish?

As dog lovers, we get it — your pup’s begging can be difficult to resist if they really want a bite of your snack. If you feed your dog one or two Goldfish crackers every few weeks, their health should be essentially unaffected. 

If your dog is eating Goldfish multiple times per week or even every day, there is cause for concern. 

Your dog’s system is less equipped to handle elevated salt intake than human bodies are, which means their body could respond even more extremely to consistent unhealthy snacks. Therefore, the long-term effects of eating Goldfish constantly could show up within just a few months rather than a few years. 

It’s also important to note that your dog might be even less able to safely digest Goldfish than other dogs. Just like people, dogs can have food sensitivities or allergies that cause them to have extreme reactions to even small amounts of generally safe substances. 

If you’ve never fed your dog a Goldfish cracker, start with one and monitor their reaction. Symptoms like labored breathing, behavior changes, diarrhea, or vomiting could indicate that your dog’s system can’t handle the ingredients in Goldfish.

Healthy Snack Alternatives for Dogs

We’ve answered the question, “Can a dog eat Goldfish?” While this snack is technically not an immediate danger to your pup, it shouldn’t be the first option you reach for when your dog needs a pick-me-up. 

Many pups enjoy the crunchy texture of Goldfish and other cracker snacks. Natural foods like apples and carrots are a healthy way to give your pup the crunch they crave without the unhealthy ingredients. These and other all-natural foods also make it easy to increase your pet’s vitamin and mineral intake throughout the day. 

Did you know that some pet food companies make dog treats specifically designed to mimic tasty human snacks like Goldfish? Some brands make versions of potato chips and cheese puffs. This way, your pup can join in on snacktime without consuming ingredients that could harm their health in the future. 

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Jeffrey Manheimer

I have grown up with dogs my entire life. My current fur baby is Frankie, a Bernese Mountain dog that is scared of flies, running water and the gameshow Jeopardy. Her health and joints have been managed by key supplements, vitamins and a variety of food.

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